Saturday, February 2, 2019
Michael Taylor was in the Golden Triangle for a one-week residency dedicated to African drumming. Taylor is the director of the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy – Chicago. He has studied in Africa and America with a number of expert djembe and dunun players including Grand Master Mamady Keita and Grand Master Famoudou Konate. While in Mississippi for the week of January 13th, Taylor provided private lessons, workshops, and performances. On January 15th, Taylor presented a workshop for the MSU percussion studio directed by Dr. Jason Baker. On January 13th and 14th, Taylor led workshops for members of Dr. Damm’s JEMBE DEN African drum ensemble. JEMBE DEN, comprised of Dr. Bob’s students, play for cultural and educational programs throughout Mississippi. Their repertoire includes the dance rhythms of West Africa and the African diaspora traditionally associated with social gatherings and festive occasions such as harvest, marriage, baby naming, and other community celebrations. This group, with special guest Michael Taylor, performed on January 18th at Church Hill Elementary School in West Point and at Annunciation Catholic School in Columbus. Taylor’s visit was arranged by Dr. Bob through the Music Education Partnerships program which fosters collaboration between MSU and partners in the community for the mutually beneficial exchange of musical knowledge and resources. The program serves people of all ages and abilities, inspiring them to develop as individuals and to discover what they have in common with others. This community-engagement service is made possible by the Holland Music for All endowment.